Return to Faber-Castell


Maker: Faber-Castell.

For a start, let me apologize for the unnecessary capitalization; the company apparently wants this model known as the LOOM, and so I stick with my policy of accepting their formatting, no matter how silly.  Other models in the Faber-Castell line-up follow a more usual pattern.

This pen is one I class as surprisingly affordable.  Most of the Faber-Castell pens cost at least double what this one does, and apart from a possible distinction in barrel materials I’m hard pressed to imagine why.  The clip is spring-loaded, the finish is of a high quality (and one assumes that anodization has come some long way since the days of Waterman’s troubling Crusader), and the design is no less attractive than most of the ultra-modern offerings of the company.  Even in the area of materials, I remain slightly mystified; can aluminum really cost so much less than plastic or wood?

I have a notion that this pen was designed to compete mainly for the portion of the adult market that gravitates towards things like the Lamy Safari and Pelikan Future.  The general look is similar, a sort of post -modern hipness that not everyone can support easily, and assuming the finish is as durable as it seems I think this is probably a fine alternative to either of those pens.  While the pen is, as I said, clearly of a sort with the other Faber-Castell (and even, if one squints, Graf von Faber-Castell) products, I think it was wise to make it so clearly a different shape than those other maker’s pens; it may be competing with them, but it is also a decided alternative to them.

Without getting into functionality, there are three possible recommendations against this pen, all of which are highly subjective.  First, the finish is frosted metal; for some, handling it will produce the tactile counterpart to listening to nails on a blackboard. Second, the raised rings on the section meant to help with keeping a grip on the pen, are quite high and narrow, and I can imagine many people who would find them an irritant rather than an asset.  Third, there is a little built-in obstruction in the barrel to help keep a short cartridge in place, but which means that a long cartridge and most forms of converter are forbidden.  I harbour some personal doubts about the durability of the finish, especially if one if given to posting the cap, but that’s merely my tendency to seek worst case scenarios expressing itself.

The point is all one would hope from a quality maker like Faber-Castell, and I wish I didn’t have a small note of surprise in my voice when I say that.  A careful examination of the underside of the clip reveals the word “China” and as no other nation of origin appears on the pen, we must assume that’s where it’s made.  Despite plenty of evidence that China can produce decent pens, there is still a slight hesitation to give complete acceptance to the notion, and when one is expecting a German pen, finding a Chinese one can be a little jarring.

Production Run: Introduced in 2012.

Cost When New: MSRP $40.00 ($45.00 for the black capped model, which is lacquered rather than anodized).

Size: 13.0 cm long capped, 15.3 cm posted, 12.5 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel.

Body: Aluminum.

FillerCartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml (international short only).

The Faber-Castell LOOM, in what is probably its least appealing colour.

The LOOM in its piano lacquer version. I’ve powdered the impression; you won’t find it looking quite like this in the store.



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